Intra and Interdisciplinary Teams in Healthcare

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According to American Nurses Association (2010) Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice, collaboration is defined as, “a professional healthcare partnership grounded in a reciprocal and respectful recognition and acceptance of: each partner’s unique expertise, power, and sphere of influence and responsibilities; commonality of goals; the mutual safeguarding of the legitimate interest of each party; and the advantages of such a relationship”.(p. 64). Collaboration amongst health care providers is very crucial in providing quality care to patients. Integration of disciplinary teams, improves communication, coordination, and most importantly, the safety and quality of patient care. It provides interaction between team members allowing them to bring their individual expertise skills and experiences to function more effectively in pursuing goals to provide high quality health care.
In this paper, I will differentiate between intra- and interdisciplinary teams and where the patient fits within these teams. I will also describe communication skills held by successful healthcare teams. I will then explain the role of teams in nursing and patient empowerment. Lastly, I will discuss the role of teams in professional nursing development.
Difference between intra- and interdisciplinary teams
An intradisciplinary team consist of professionals from a single discipline that includes team members from various levels of education and expertise within that discipline. An example of intradisciplinary in healthcare, would be nurse-to-nurse collaboration in efforts of achieving goals of optimal patient care within nursing practice. An interdisciplinary team consists of professionals from various disciplines that are involved in achievi...

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... resources, and opportunities; and respect for self and others”. (p.500). Collaborating as equals with other healthcare professionals, allow nurses to contribute at their optimal levels. Having access to information, support, resources, and opportunities through team members participation, will increase the nurse sense of empowerment in providing high quality patient care.
An empowered patient is one who actively participates in their health care. They are control of every aspect of their health and collaborate with health team members when there are issues concerning their body. The health care team may include physicians, nurses, pharmacist, assistants, and family members that may contribute to providing information in making decisions. A team that “approach patients as equal partners is the key to patient empowerment”. (Burkhart & Nathaniel, 2008, p. 518)
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